How to test and analyze your acrylic mediums

What’s the best brand of acrylic paints?

I get asked that question a lot when I teach acrylic workshops.

When I was an undergraduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a professor I liked and respected touted a particular brand of acrylics as the “best.” So, I took her word for it and started using that brand over others. But there are lots of excellent brands out there and once I became a bit more experienced, I got curious about what made different brands of paint different.

The truth is there are a number of good paints out there and rather than telling you about the merits of each, I thought I’d show you how I test acrylic mediums in my own studio. The results are always interesting. And this empowers you to make your own informed choices about what will work best for you.

Share in the comments below what brands you like to use? Do you stick with one brand for everything? Do you mix and match?
Have you ever had a really (or really great) bad experience with a particular paint or medium? Do tell!

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Discover New Ways to Use Pouring Medium

In many of my pieces I use Liquitex Pouring Medium.  This material can be poured on for a crystal clear, glossy surface or tinted with acrylic inks to create a multi-layered effect.  I’ve been working with it for years and am always excited to show you new techniques!

I’ve created several videos in the past where I talk about this “effect medium” (as Liquitex calls it), answer your questions, and experiment in real-time.

In these videos you’ll learn:

  • how to use Liquitex Pouring Medium to finish your paintings with a smooth, clear, glossy finish.
  • how to tint the pouring medium with acrylic inks
  • vital tips and tricks
  • answers to questions from artists just like you!


Watch all 13 videos by clicking “play” on the playlist below!


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Using Acrylic Pouring Medium as a Non-Toxic Resin-Like Coat

I try to keep everything in my studio non-toxic and was excited when I developed this method for creating a resin look without using highly toxic epoxy resins.


Here I answer some specific questions I got from an artist in Guatemala on drying time with the pouring medium in different climates. Also, about adding gold leaf or other metal leaf in pouring medium. I got cut off but don’t worry, it continues in the next video.


Continuation of questions in previous video about using Pouring medium with inks and spray paint:

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Using acrylic mediums to created mixed media foil sheets

A couple of years ago, I was invited by curator Chandra Cerrito to create a piece for the exhibition she was curating at the di Rosa called Altered States: The Collection in Context of artworks related to the mystical, the transcendent and the transformative.

Sea of Connections

I was given a large wall in the gallery space overlooking a small lake. Inspired by a meditative state I had been studying and experiencing call the Sea of Connections, I decided to make a link between this state, the lake outside and the piece.

My intention was to create a piece that would reflect light, shimmer and glow. Based on my in-depth knowledge of acrylic mediums, I innovated a brand new material using acrylics over aluminum foil.

The finished pieced measured was over 6 ½ feet tall by 11 feet wide (198 cm x 348 cm).

Here’s I video I made for you showing exactly how I made the sheets:

And here is a video showing how I connected all those sheets to make the whole piece.

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